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University of Illinois Extension
Herb Gardening

Sweet Marjoram

marjoram

Origanum majorana

Very Tender Perennial/Annual

Description

Sweet marjoram is an annual with a low, spreading growth habit. Leaves are gray-green and velvety to the touch.  Sweet marjoram is another member of the Oregano family but with a sweeter, milder flavor.

Culture

Sweet marjoram is easily grown from seed or cuttings.  It prefers a full sun location and requires a well-drained soil.  Sweet marjoram tends to be a low spreading plant that benefits from being pruned back when it is 6-8 inches tall to encourage a bushy growth habit.  To enhance seed germination, soak seeds in water overnight.

Harvesting

Harvest marjoram when ball-like tips appear at the ends of the stems.  When the plant starts to bloom, cut plants back close to the ground to stimulate a new flush of growth. The second flush of growth tends to be a more desired crop than the first cutting. Air dry cut stems and store in sealed containers.  

Uses

Marjoram is used in soups, egg dishes, beef, and chicken dishes, sausages, cheese and tomato dishes.

Popular Varieties

  • Variegated Marjoram – Low growing perennial, with yellow-green variegated foliage. It is useful as an ornamental.

Indoor Culture

Sweet marjoram is easily grown as a container plant indoors in a sunny location.  Start plants from seed or cutting or dig up plants from the garden before frost and bring them indoors. 

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